Motion Control & Drives


SKF actuators deliver ultimate product confidence

August 2014 Motion Control & Drives

SKF actuation system solutions are widely acknowledged for their quality and accurate and efficient performance across a broad range of market sectors. “Our turnkey actuation system solutions position us extremely competitively in the market,” says SKF Mechatronics product manager for southern Africa, John Storm. “The actuation systems are offered through SKF Mechatronics, which is one of SKF’s six global core technologies together with bearings and units, seals, power transmission, lubrication systems and services. Mechatronics is briefly defined as anything mechanical that is electrically driven and SKF’s portfolio comprises linear guidance systems, linear driving technology and actuation systems.

“Actuation is our primary focus, and more specifically, electrically driven actuator systems with AC, DC and servo options. The electric system delivers substantial end-user benefits compared to hydraulic and pneumatic systems. In addition to being sealed and maintenance free, the system features quality, reliability, high efficiency rates, low power consumption, high repeatable accuracy, system diversity and simple integration.”

Storm explains that choosing the most appropriate linear guidance system is dependent on a number of factors such as load capacity, stiffness, required speed, travel and the attainable degree of precision. SKF offers three types of linear guidance systems to meet customers’ diverse guiding needs:

* Linear ball bearings (ball-recirculation sleeves on shafts).

* Profile rail guides (carriage with rows of re-circulating balls running on a profiled rail).

* Precision rail or prismatic guides (two guide rails positioned one upon the other with a ball, crossed roller or needle roller cage between them).

Linear driving technology involves rolled ball screws, ground ball screws, and roller screw systems. Ball and roller screw technology, which according to Storm, transforms rotary motion (provided by a motor) into linear motion, with very high efficiency. Rolled ball screws offer high precision to cover most requirements and reduce or eliminate backlash. Ground ball screws are the best solution for applications demanding greater rigidity and precision. Ball screws handle push and pull forces and run with linear guides which take up the lateral force. Roller screws can operate far beyond the limits of ball screws and ensure ultimate precision and rigidity, high speed and acceleration, a technology created by SKF.

“Our expansive linear range, available from 100 N to 600 kN, pushing forces out in precision at high speed, offers a tailored solution to meet any linear application demand whether to position, lift, pick, raise and lower or wrap,” reveals Storm. “The fact that SKF electric actuation systems are sealed eliminates contamination risk, making them ideally suited to the food and beverage industry. They are also widely used in agriculture for electronic parking brakes on tractors as well as bearings with encoders and integrated GPS tracking for positioning and adjusting feeders or sieves on combine harvesters offer advantages such as reduced operational costs and increased life span, speed, agility and production.

“Whether it is a new installation or after-market fitment, we assess and evaluate the customer’s unique requirements to offer the best, most reliable and efficient solution,” concludes Storm.

For more information contact Samantha Joubert, SKF South Africa, +27 (0)11 821 3602, samantha.joubert@skf.com, www.skf.co.za



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